Map of Amazon in Virginia
Economic and Fiscal Impact Report
Memorandum of Understanding
"Virginia put together a partnership proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and it came together with unprecedented local, regional, and state collaboration. Our neighbors in Maryland and D.C. have been fantastic partners, and I look forward to continuing our close partnership to strengthen the region."
"Amazon’s selection of the Commonwealth for a major new headquarters is the result of tremendous state and local partnership, many years of fiscally responsible investments by our General Assembly, and collaboration with Virginia’s neighbors in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. This project will spur economic growth, diversify our economy, and help us grow and retain our much sought-after tech talent."
"I’m grateful to Governor Northam and his cabinet, the General Assembly’s MEI Commission and their staff, Virginia’s university leaders, our amazing local partners, our talented colleagues at VEDP, and many other Virginians for all they have done to make this possible. Virginia’s biggest employment growth opportunity in the years ahead will be in tech – from artificial intelligence to cloud computing to cybersecurity, and everything in between. The tech-talent pipeline investments that Governor Northam and the General Assembly are launching will position communities across the Commonwealth for healthier, more diversified economic growth."
"Virginia's higher education system is among the best in the world, and its workforce is among the most talented anywhere. The decision of Amazon to locate in Virginia is a strong vote of confidence in the Commonwealth's colleges and universities to support the kind of workforce that will help employers compete, and win, in the global and technologically advanced economy of the 21st century."
"Virginia's educators are thrilled that Amazon has chosen Virginia for HQ2. Virginia's public schools are the foundation of the talent pipeline required to support the jobs of the tomorrow. We look forward to working together to ensure all of Virginia's students have the skills they need to lead the next generation of high-tech, economic growth in the Commonwealth."
"We have an amazing education continuum in Virginia. Our state is a good home for companies like Amazon who need a quality workforce."
"As a former Governor, now Senator, but also as a former technology executive, I'm really excited about the potential Amazon offers not only to Northern Virginia but the whole capital region and the entire Commonwealth. We've seen that major investments like these can bring not only thousands of direct jobs but also lead to job growth in other industries. As we welcome Amazon's new investment in Virginia, we must commit to implementing this announcement in a way that will benefit the whole region and all of the Commonwealth."
"I’m thrilled that our skilled workforce helped persuade Amazon to bring a major new headquarters and its tens of thousands of jobs to Virginia. Congratulations are in order to Governors McAuliffe and Northam and the local leaders who worked to ensure that this deal includes investments in our education and transportation infrastructure."
"Winning Amazon’s major new headquarters is a significant accomplishment for Virginia and its technology sector. The investments this project will bring to Virginia’s education system to strengthen our tech-talent pipeline will position the tech sector across the Commonwealth for growth. I look forward to working with Amazon, Governor Northam, my colleagues in the General Assembly, and our local partners on this transformational project."
"I am pleased Amazon has chosen Virginia for a major headquarters. Strategic investments made in recent years to position Virginia as a business-friendly state have produced excellent results, and we look forward to investing further in our higher education system to catalyze growth in the tech sector. I am proud of the responsible agreement we negotiated for the Commonwealth, with incentives paid to the company only after new jobs are created that pay at least $150,000 per year, plus benefits, and new revenues are received. I congratulate the many partners at the state, regional, and local level that worked together on this historic project, and I look forward to Amazon expanding its presence in the Commonwealth."
"Virginia’s Amazon deal will add significant resources to the General Fund, benefiting all Virginians. Investments in education will benefit all regions of the Commonwealth, while direct incentives to the company are paid only after the state receives the incremental new payroll taxes generated by Amazon’s major headquarters presence in Virginia."
"George Mason University is delighted to welcome Amazon to Virginia. To support this massive investment, the university announces its plan to launch a new Institute for Digital InnovAtion (IDIA) that will house over 1,200 entrepreneurs, researchers, technologists, and business leaders on its Arlington campus at the bustling Ballston-Rosslyn corridor, and to establish a new School of Computing with a student body that numbers more than 5,000 today and will grow to 15,000 in the coming decades, adding significant capacity in the areas of computer science, information technology, and other closely related fields."
"William & Mary warmly welcomes Amazon to Virginia. We are very excited about this news and look forward to becoming close partners as William & Mary increases its capacity to graduate computer scientists, data scientists, and other broadly educated and highly capable students who have the ability to be agile, multi-dimensional, and adaptable thinkers prepared for the rapid pace of change we know lies ahead."
"The addition of Amazon's HQ2 will have a tremendous positive impact on Virginia's economy and higher education system for generations to come. JMU looks forward to partnering with Amazon to address the need for a skilled and well-rounded workforce and talent pool. Amazon's second home here in Virginia will provide great internship and employment opportunities for JMU students, many of whom hope to stay in Virginia after graduation."
"Amazon’s choice to invest in Virginia is a testament to everything the Commonwealth has to offer now and in the future. At UVA, our goal is to serve the Commonwealth and beyond by providing education and training, offering outstanding medical care, growing the economy, conducting research, and cultivating a new generation of entrepreneurs.
To help do this, we have been expanding our footprint in Northern Virginia over the last decade and have plans to do even more. The Darden School of Business, for example, has opened new facilities in Rosslyn and the Medical School is partnering with Inova to open a new campus in Northern Virginia. We’re working with Inova, George Mason University, and the Commonwealth to launch the Genomics and Bioinformatics Research Institute to help advance scientific understanding and cure disease. Our School of Professional and Continuing Studies provides certificates online in business and technology to help working adults advance in their careers, and our Data Science Institute offers degree programs related to data analytics. In addition, the McIntire School of Commerce now offers a joint degree in business analytics with Darden and a degree in management of information technology on its own. Our Curry School of Education, finally, offers multiple part-time degrees for students in the area. We also have over 30,000 alumni in the Northern Virginia area (our largest concentration of alumni) involved in a vast array of professional, civic and community endeavors.
We look forward to working with Amazon to see how we can best work together to create opportunities for their existing and potential employees in the Northern Virginia area. We also look forward to working with our colleagues at Virginia Tech and George Mason to continue to strengthen Virginia’s economy and create economic opportunity for all Virginians."
"The recent news that Amazon will be locating in Virginia is a testament to the strength of higher education in Virginia. I am thrilled that Amazon will look to Virginia's colleges and universities to help create its next generation of visionaries and leaders. In addition to its accomplished research institutions, Virginia is home to colleges and universities that specialize in producing citizen leaders who can think critically, communicate effectively, solve problems, and work with and understand diverse groups. Our graduates will help you generate and execute the ideas that can change the world for the better. Welcome to Virginia, Amazon!""
"At UVa-Wise, we have been working for over a decade to build our technology programs for an opportunity just like this! Over 20% of UVa-Wise students come from Northern Virginia, and I am confident that they are prepared to work for a company like Amazon. With UVa-Wise students who would like to stay in SWVA, I'm certain that virtual work situations will arise. Our graduates will be well prepared for this work, as well."
"This landmark announcement and significant investment to be made by Amazon in Northern Virginia will have a tremendous impact across every region of the Commonwealth, including Southwest Virginia, which is home to numerous high-quality institutions and a multitude of innovative companies. At Radford University, we look forward to contributing to the workforce pipeline necessary to bring Amazon's vision for its second headquarters to life. Radford University is a nationally recognized leader in the field of information technology and provides expertise in cybersecurity for Virginia and the global community as we partner with the Commonwealth and Amazon to create transformative opportunities for our state and our citizens."
"I am proud—but not surprised—that Amazon selected Virginia, because we are a
Commonwealth committed to excellence, creativity, innovation, and making big things happen. In myriad ways, we make it real. We also have world-class research universities that awarded more degrees than ever last year, an increasing number in the STEM fields that provide a pipeline of brilliant and immensely talented workers. I am proud of VCU's role as one of our Commonwealth's nationally premier research universities and look forward to forging new partnerships and working closely with our colleagues at Amazon."
"Virginia offers the best higher education system in the nation. Amazon's presence in the Commonwealth will quickly strengthen our growing entrepreneurship ecosystem. As one of Virginia's top producers of STEM-H graduates, Old Dominion University stands ready to provide resources and support to accelerate training, propel economic development, and spur innovation in Virginia and beyond."
"The University of Mary Washington plays a pivotal role in creating the Virginia workforce of tomorrow and supplying Virginia companies with the necessary talent pipeline in order to be successful. UMW is excited about Amazon's decision to locate in Crystal City, and is uniquely positioned to leverage existing partnerships with Germanna Community College and Northern Virginia Community College to prepare highly skilled graduates. The decision by Amazon to locate in Virginia underscores the successful system of higher education we have in the Commonwealth, and acknowledges confidence that Virginia will produce adaptive, innovative, and talented workers to support a 21st century economy for years to come."
"We (VSU) are truly honored to be a part of this historic opportunity which will transform our communities and industries in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now more than ever, computer science and technology have become increasingly essential in our everyday lives. This opportunity will provide a conduit for VSU graduates to remain residents in the Commonwealth. They would be able to fulfill their dreams by blazing new pathways in computer science, computer engineering, logistics, and system managements. Our nation's competitiveness in the new technology-based economy depends upon Virginia State University and others' ability to prepare and empower the next generation of technology experts who will revolutionize our future."
"This is exciting news! Virginia's marvelous array of public and private colleges and universities will produce the talented workforce necessary to ensure Amazon's success and significance in the world."
"We look forward to the many and varied opportunities for internships and rewarding employment opportunities that having Amazon located in the Commonwealth will provide for VMI cadets and alumni in furtherance of the overall economic development of the state."
"Living in a region whose future economic prosperity is impacted by cross-state collaboration, I am pleased to see Virginia champion this same cooperative spirit to meet the needs of a key company like Amazon. Throughout the process, our Commonwealth has worked with other states, cities, and the company to prepare the best possible workforce, infrastructure, and support for this leading e-commerce provider known for its consumer loyalty. Our future relies on regions' abilities to think beyond traditional boundaries to fulfill the needs of companies and citizens, requiring collaboration in education, transportation, research, and many other areas."
"Virginia is not only home to an excellent system of postsecondary education institutions, but also has five vibrant higher education centers located across the Southern portion of the Commonwealth. We provide access to a variety of degree programs and industry certifications to our rural communities and connect business/industry with a qualified workforce. We are excited about the opportunity that Amazon brings and know it will positively impact the entire state, and we look forward to engaging them to make all our communities successful."
"Today is truly a milestone for the Commonwealth of Virginia and Amazon. The Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center and our anchor institutions, including UVA, Virginia Tech, and Radford University, stand ready to join Amazon and build on their momentum."
"By selecting Virginia for what has been described as the "greatest economic development opportunity in a generation, Amazon has validated what Virginians already know: Virginia is not only for Lovers, Virginia is for Business!"
"The Roanoke Higher Education Center stands ready to reach out to our 11 partner institutions and employers such as Amazon to develop programming that will prepare individuals for jobs in the areas that are needed."
“This is a watershed moment for Virginia Tech and a great day for the commonwealth that we are committed to serve. As a land-grant research institution, we knew we needed to claim our role of driving economic development in Virginia. Our new Innovation Campus will be the global center of technology excellence and talent production – where highly skilled students, world-class faculty, smart ideas, and forward-thinking companies will meet to propel the commonwealth and the region forward.”
“Richard Bland College of William & Mary welcomes Amazon to Virginia and salutes its spirit of innovation. Richard Bland is centrally located near two Amazon fulfillment centers that employ thousands of Virginians, including many Richard Bland College students. We look forward to new linkages with Amazon that will support their needs for a high quality local workforce.”
“At Norfolk State University we see the future in our students, and welcome the news that Amazon’s HQ2, the world’s
largest e-commerce company, will be based right here in Virginia. As a student-centered University, NSU stands ready
to partner with one of the world’s most customer-centric companies. With respected programs in computer science,
engineering, cybersecurity and business, Norfolk State is well positioned to support Amazon in fulfilling its ongoing
commitment to building a highly skilled, diverse, and innovative workforce.”
"Amazon in Arlington is a win for DC. We know that this opportunity will push us to work together on our biggest challenges like improving our transportation and infrastructure. And we call on elected leaders in the region to come together and agree to a concrete goal for affordable and workforce housing. We offer our congratulations to Arlington and the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have always said that we would put our region and its people up against any other in the world. And as the federal government slows its growth, today’s announcement demonstrates that the technology sector will continue to flourish in our region as our economy diversifies."
"Amazon’s decision to locate one of its new headquarters facilities in Northern Virginia is a tremendous win for the entire Capital Region. Collectively, we will not only gain 25,000 corporate-level jobs, but also many businesses that are part of Amazon’s supply chain. I want to thank County Executive Ike Leggett and all of our partners in Montgomery County for working with us to put forth a strong proposal that highlighted the outstanding advantages of doing business in Maryland. I look forward to working closely with Governor Northam and Mayor Bowser to welcome Amazon and meet the opportunities that lie ahead."
The Commonwealth’s partnership proposal to Amazon includes three focus areas:
The foundation of the Commonwealth’s proposal to Amazon is a comprehensive statewide investment program to more than double Virginia’s already robust tech-talent pipeline. Specifically, Virginia plans to double the annual number of graduates with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and closely related fields (split approximately 50/50 between bachelor’s and master’s degrees). This will ultimately add 25,000 to 35,000 additional graduates in excess of baseline levels over the next two decades.
To expand the number of bachelor’s degrees, the Commonwealth will establish a performance-based tech talent investment fund, with General Assembly approval. This fund will enable higher education institutions across Virginia to receive startup funds for faculty recruitment, state capital investment (where required), and enrollment funding to expand the number of bachelor’s degrees the institutions confer annually in computer science and closely related fields (e.g., computer engineering). Participating institutions, including both public universities and community colleges, will enter into an agreement that details their plans for growth, state funding commitments, annual reporting requirements, and future funding parameters associated with performance.
To expand the number of master’s degrees, the Commonwealth plans investments of up to $375 million for academic space and operational support over the next 20 years. These performance-based, master’s degree investments will be provided to George Mason University for its Arlington campus and Virginia Tech for a new campus expected to be located in Alexandria. State financial support will be contingent upon the institutions raising philanthropic funds on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis for these investments.
In addition to these higher education investments, building the tech talent pipeline starts with a public K-12 system that includes an integrated STEM and computer science curriculum for every student. Virginia will invest $25 million in the K-12 STEM and computer science experience for students and teachers over the next 20 years. This investment will enable the Commonwealth to provide ongoing professional development to current and future teachers; create, curate, and disseminate high quality curriculum and resources; support summer and after-school programming for students; and facilitate meaningful career exposure and work-based learning opportunities in high-demand fields. Additionally, the Commonwealth will invest $25 million to expand tech internship opportunities for higher education students to better connect them to tech jobs over the next 20 years.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria are planning competitive investments in transportation infrastructure that will benefit the National Landing site while strengthening northern Virginia’s regional transportation system.
Subject to Amazon’s job-creation performance, the Commonwealth has committed up to $295 million of non-general fund money to invest in transportation projects that will provide robust, multi-modal connections between National Landing and the regional transportation system. These projects will be effectively funded with resources that could not otherwise be used anywhere outside of northern Virginia. The projects include additional entrances to the Metro stations at Crystal City and Potomac Yard, improvements to Route 1, a connector bridge from Crystal City to Washington National Airport, and a transitway expansion supporting Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard.
Similarly, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria have already committed over $570 million to date for transportation projects, including rail connections, transit facilities, multi-modal streets, and corridor connectivity. These investments will strengthen multi-modal connectivity at National Landing while advancing high-quality placemaking and amenities for both Amazon’s new headquarters and the public in those localities.
A review of available transportation services, facilities, and associated capacity indicate that the regional and local transit systems have significant unused capacity, even during peak travel periods. Local transportation officials expect that most of Amazon’s employees will utilize public transit, walk, bike, or carpool on their commutes each day.
While Virginia’s proposal primarily focuses on new investments in public assets that would benefit companies and citizens across Virginia (in particular, doubling Virginia’s tech-talent pipeline), it also includes a performance-based incentive offering. The incentive requires that annual payments to the company be made only after the company has produced new, qualifying jobs. The incentives will be paid annually based on job creation and wage levels in the prior year.
The actual amount of incentives paid to the company will be determined by the number of jobs created and the average wages. The minimum average annual wage is $150,000, plus benefits, escalated at 1.5% annually. The company will be eligible to receive up to $550 million in incentives if it creates 25,000 jobs and up to $200 million in additional incentives if it creates a total of 37,850 jobs. Because the payments will be provided only after the jobs are created, the incentives will generate net positive revenue for Virginia from day one and will produce a more than six-to-one return on investment over the term of the performance agreement.
Amazon, Inc. will invest approximately $2.5 billion to establish a major new headquarters in National Landing. The company will employ at least 25,000 professionals within approximately 10 to 12 years, with the potential to grow to 37,850 jobs around year 15. Amazon will pay an average annual salary of at least $150,000, plus benefits, escalated at 1.5% annually.
Amazon’s new headquarters is expected to generate approximately 15% to 25% of the additional jobs needed for Virginia to regain a top 10 state ranking for growth. In addition, these investments will keep thousands more college graduates in Virginia and help reverse Virginia’s recent trend of domestic population out-migration.
Amazon’s new headquarters will be located in National Landing, the newly-defined interconnected and walkable neighborhood that includes portions of Pentagon City and Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia and Potomac Yard in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. Located adjacent to Reagan National Airport and across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., National Landing is one of the Capital region’s most accessible, urban, mixed-use communities. It is defined by its central location and its existing mixed-use urban environment, including offices, apartments, and hotels.
Amazon intends to lease existing space and purchase land for development from JBG SMITH in Crystal City and Pentagon City in Arlington County, while the new Virginia Tech Innovation Campus is expected to be developed in the Alexandria portion of National Landing. National Landing has over 12 million square feet of existing office space and more than 13,000 residential units. JBG SMITH controls over 8 million square feet of development within National Landing.
Since mid-2017, JBG SMITH has focused on a comprehensive plan to reposition National Landing through a broad array of strategic placemaking strategies. These include the delivery of additional ground-up residential and office development, locally-sourced amenity retail, and investments in public assets, including streets, sidewalks, parks, and other outdoor gathering spaces. By creating a vibrant street environment with a robust offering of amenity retail and improved public spaces, National Landing will become known for its pedestrian accessibility and vitality. Amazon’s new headquarters and related investments are consistent with the adopted community growth plans for the National Landing area in both Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, which envision high-density, mixed-use, transit-oriented development.
The economic benefits of the Amazon project will be shared across the Commonwealth.The project is expected to result in more than $3.2 billion in new state general fund revenues over the 20-year incentive term with Amazon, after accounting for direct company incentives. These new funds can be used for investments in education, infrastructure, and other priorities across all corners of Virginia.
Further, the project will bring tens of thousands of new high-tech jobs, which will diversify Virginia’s economy, reduce our overreliance on the federal government, and dramatically strengthen our largest traded-sector growth industry: technology. While the proposal includes post-performance incentive offerings, it focuses primarily on public investments that would benefit firms and citizens across Virginia, particularly statewide investments to double our tech-talent pipeline.
Finally, because state sales tax revenues dedicated to education are distributed by enrollment, public school systems outside northern Virginia will experience a cumulative increase of approximately $200 million or more in state K-12 funding support over 20 years.
Roughly half of the employment at Amazon’s new headquarters is expected to be technology jobs, including software development engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, user interface design, and user experience design. The other half of the positions will include executive and managerial roles as well as legal, accounting, and administrative occupations. Amazon will offer a minimum average compensation of $150,000 per year, plus benefits.
In recent decades, Virginia has made substantial progress toward improving the quality of housing and the living environment of all Virginians. The Commonwealth, Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, and a variety of local and regional partners are all working to address the housing needs of the region in a more concerted and dedicated way as a result of this partnership proposal.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria plan to fund affordable housing, workforce housing, and public infrastructure, relying on revenues generated from Amazon’s new presence in their communities. Combined, the communities project investments of at least $15 million annually over the next decade, resulting in the creation and preservation of 2,000 to 2,400 units in and around the Crystal City, Pentagon City, and Columbia Pike areas and through the City of Alexandria.
The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), which is Virginia’s statewide organization designed to help Virginians attain quality, affordable housing, has a number of statewide programs aimed at both affordable rental housing and homeownership loan programs. VHDA’s existing programs include $300 million per year for rental housing and $600 million per year for homeownership financing in the northern Virginia region. In addition, VHDA will work with Arlington County and the City of Alexandria, and will provide an additional $15 million per year for five years for affordable and workforce housing in northern Virginia.
The private sector is also working to address housing affordability. JBG SMITH and the Federal City Council recently announced the launch of the Washington Housing Initiative, a transformational, market-driven approach to producing affordable housing in the Capital region over the next decade. The initiative brings together capital from private and philanthropic sources to preserve or build affordable workforce housing in mixed-income communities, specifically targeting working families. The initiative expects to source external capital for the purposes of preserving or building between 2,000 and 3,000 units of affordable housing in metro Washington over the next decade.
In furtherance of a broader housing affordability strategy, leaders from Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, the District of Columbia, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the Greater Washington Partnership, the VHDA, and the Washington Housing Initiative have been working to create strategies to ensure the region is best positioned to respond to the housing needs of its future workforce. The group is finalizing a more formal framework that will create a new regional funding mechanism, supported by the private sector, local jurisdictions, and the state/district.
The Commonwealth of Virginia, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria are planning investments in transportation infrastructure that will benefit National Landing while strengthening northern Virginia’s regional transportation system. Arlington County and the City of Alexandria are also actively pursuing additional funding opportunities to advance investments in this corridor.
A review of available transportation services, facilities, and associated capacity indicate that the regional and local transit systems have significant unused capacity, even during peak travel periods. Local transportation officials expect that Amazon will help fill that existing capacity, as they are a very transit-focused employer, with most employees utilizing public transit, walking, biking, or carpooling each day.
Office of the GovernorCommunications Teampress@governor.virginia.gov
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